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Thread: Cold war and missiles

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Did I ever tell you guys how much I hated F-8 Crusaders?

    Oh yeah, I did.
    Oh Yes you did!

    Incidentally, for new readers who haven't read that thread. Do so!
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  2. #32
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    Still have a little book from fifty years ago,
    Rockets and Missiles, Longacre press, full of
    pictures and details. A Thor is half elevated at
    an RAF site in East Anglia. The site fence is
    just a hundred or so feet away with a road
    beyond. Was there really a nuclear thingy on
    the thing? Times I lived through!

    I have Khruschevs biography as told to one
    Strobe Talbot. He relates how the whole Cuban
    affair was undertaken to get missles out of
    Turkey! Could be accurate!

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Oh Yes you did!

    Incidentally, for new readers who haven't read that thread. Do so!
    Thanks for the link! I figured that was the thread in question but hadn't gone looking for it yet. Now I've got yet another time sink waiting for me as I re-read.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  4. #34
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    Interesting article here:
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/971/1

    Now I have heard it said that it was the actual R-7 core that most people saw, and not Sputnik itself. A recent book on area 51 claims that the core was covered with reflectors, but I wonder if this is really true or not. Atlas-Score was visible--no paint...

  5. #35
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    Thanks again Henrik

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Wikipedia article listing nuclear weapons tests

    This website from the NRDC has a table of tests

    If I did the math right, from 1945 to 1963, the US did 215 above-ground tests, the USSR did 219, the UK did 21, and France did 4. It looks like 1958 and 1962 were the busy years, with 101 and 117 test respectively.
    No wonder my parents are freaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    They mean business when they put a placard which states: " Danger, jet intake " .
    You forgot the second line: "If you can read this, you are too close".

    Now I have to read Don's post on the Luckiest Unlucky Man. Right after I get some tissues, a bib and rubber pants; Don's posts make me laugh to tears, choke with shock and... well nevermind.

    Don, you seriously need to write a book. Or ten. I would buy them all.
    Solfe

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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    ...Another was "SLUF"...
    Short Little Ugly F..er..ellow

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Interesting article here:
    A recent book on area 51 claims that the core was covered with reflectors, but I wonder if this is really true or not.
    As I heard it, it carried some sort of radar reflector device, as did Sputnik 2, but I've never seen any details, guess some version of the typical yacht-mast octahedral thingie.

    At the size it was, there was no need to enhance the optical visibility.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Now I have heard it said that it was the actual R-7 core that most people saw, and not Sputnik itself.
    Orbiting Centaurs are very much visible: http://www.heavens-above.com/satinfo...et&satid=31702

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    I have read - and it was years ago, I don't remember where - that Kennedy conducted the Cuban missile crisis fearlessly because he knew from our spy satellites how few ICBMs the Soviets had, and how weak the Soviet air force was.
    I found this description of the hypothetical war very convincing: http://www.alternatehistory.com/disc...ad.php?t=65071

    Short version -- the author assumes that only 20 Soviet missiles hit the US, nevertheless, significant devastation results. Europe is destroyed completely by chaotic exchanges of short-range weapons. Soviet Union is completely destroyed by B-52s.

    On a related note: I read some (quite recent) paper which argued that an actor with about 50 missiles has an effective deterrent against the United States, because such force is enough to destroy all US population centers. Such strategy would be suicidal of course, so first strike is not an option for such actor; but, if they were already against the wall with nothing to lose...

  11. #41
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    dingding dingding dingding Fire, fire, fire! Fire at frame . . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    That's because they got to sit inside them. Their ground crews and the rest of the flightdeck hated them, for reasons I've already gone through at length.

    But I guess their opinions don't count. (We'ed called them wienie roasters for very good reasons!)
    Just because they'd set the wooden flight deck on fire on converted Essex class carriers is hardly a reason to dislike them!

    Big D., you can explain why the Fire Call worried you more than General Quarters.

    Regards, John M.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamaz View Post
    On a related note: I read some (quite recent) paper which argued that an actor with about 50 missiles has an effective deterrent against the United States, because such force is enough to destroy all US population centers. Such strategy would be suicidal of course, so first strike is not an option for such actor; but, if they were already against the wall with nothing to lose...
    Realistically, the number of missiles don't matter at all. If your deterrent missile(s) didn't stop your opponent from pushing you against the wall they were no deterrent at all. This isn't a case of the US verse anyone, this is anyone with an army verses someone with nukes.

    The missiles wiping out population centers isn't the problem, its the fallout from those missiles that would be the big deal. I would suggest moving to Australia or Africa while this whole scenario plays out.
    Solfe

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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    If your deterrent missile(s) didn't stop your opponent from pushing you against the wall they were no deterrent at all.
    Which is precisely the point. If you have 50 missiles, nobody will push you against the wall, because in such case you will retaliate, taking most of their population out. At the same time, 50 missiles force is too small for you to carry a successful first strike. So interestingly, it seems that 50 missiles per actor would guarantee peace in a multipolar world: nobody can strike first, but everybody can retaliate.

    The only case where this scenario breaks down is if one of the actors goes insane...

    However, IIRC, that paper argued exactly the opposite. Since a relatively small actor can build up a 50 missile force, a relatively small actor can wipe out a superpower (at the cost of commiting suicide). So the argument was that if you have a lot of such actors, it is actually more dangerous, because a small actor is more likely to act insane (i.e. small governments are less stable) and launch a suicidal first strike.

  14. #44
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    That's Why Non-Proliferation

    Agreed.

  15. #45
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    Maybe someday nukes won't exist (hopefully). Aside from mass mayhem, they aren't good for much... in my opinion anyway.

    It would be a strange day where countries have missile defences but no ICBMs.
    Solfe

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    "Triangles are my favorite shape
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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamaz View Post
    Short version -- the author assumes that only 20 Soviet missiles hit the US.
    I wonder if it would even have been that many. Early R-7s were a tad wonky then. None of the IRBMs/MRBMs were operational in Cuba as far as I could tell.

  17. #47
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    I suspect that if you could build 50 working nuclear missiles, that your deterrent would be a little more broad spectrum than "I have 50 working nuclear missiles." "We paid a lot of money to start a suicidal war" doesn't sound to reasonable to me. Once you attain that goal, your tech sector is built up enough to do other things.

    Real world examples of counties acquiring nuclear weapons all seem to show a serious attempt not to use them. Several counties have given up nuclear weapons, some have them on loan when they "need" them, while others seem to play the game of "guess what I have?" as a means of deterrent.
    Solfe

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    "Triangles are my favorite shape
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  18. #48
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    It's odd. I seem to remember seeing any number of mainstream news magazines that would publish charts comparing the U.S. build up vs. the U.S.S.R build up. My memory says it was a close race. I did talk with a Russian engineer a few years back, who told me, "we never thought it was a race, we always knew U.S. was "the" superpower."

    Maybe my memory is foggy, or am I out of touch with revelations on the actual capability of the USSR during the 70's and 80's?

    TJ

  19. #49
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    You may be confused by the difference between the domestic propaganda of the time, in which the two powers had to be nearly equal in order to justify the expenses of the government, and the reality which was that they weren't nearly as equal as the propaganda would make them.
    And yes, it was actually a case of American domestic propaganda inflating the capabilities of the Russians.
    __________________________________________________
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    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJMac View Post
    It's odd. I seem to remember seeing any number of mainstream news magazines that would publish charts comparing the U.S. build up vs. the U.S.S.R build up. My memory says it was a close race. I did talk with a Russian engineer a few years back, who told me, "we never thought it was a race, we always knew U.S. was "the" superpower."

    Maybe my memory is foggy, or am I out of touch with revelations on the actual capability of the USSR during the 70's and 80's?

    TJ
    By the late 60s the Soviets had rough parity in ICBM numbers(more than a thousand on each side), though they were still behind in strategic bombers and ballistic missile submarines.

    During the 70s you see MIRVing of missiles, and the number of warheads skyrockets. Eventually you're talking about something like 20,000+ strategic nuclear weapons between them.

  21. #51
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    That used to be called "Deep Parity."

  22. #52
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    It might interest some of you to note that not only were the numbers of missiles deployed by the USSR exaggerated for propaganda purposes, so were the effects of nuclear weapons and countermeasures.

    At least, that seems to be the well supported conclusion of this blog (of which I've read about halfway through in the last couple days), which presents recently declassified data on weapons effects and countermeasures (from WWII firebombing, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and nuclear test explosions) that contradict the widely held understanding many people thought they had based on the published government reports such as The Effects of Nuclear War by The Office of Technology Assessment, and Glasstone & Dolan's, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. A lot of the exaggeration seem to come from extrapolations of data from tests performed on small isolated structures in the Nevada desert. If you live by yourself in a desert then by all means, use the nuclear effect radii as a straightforward assessment of your risk. However, if you live where most people live, in places that have grass and trees and other buildings in climates that have clouds and humidity and hills, then you may want to take into consideration how all these things can affect (i.e. attenuate) nuclear weapons effects.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  23. #53
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    The kinetic impact of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers was rather significant. A small gun-style atomic-fission bomb would do a bit more damage, but the forests of skyscrapers would interfere. The old SS-9 Scarp city busters and the UR-500 heaved Czar Bomb would make a city mostly dissappear--but a smaller Hiroshima sized fission weapon would be heard as a thunderclap in other parts of New York, say.

    Ironically, such a small weapon would kill more if it were placed not in New York City, but in the center of a NASCAR in-field in Talledega Alabama or other NASCAR venues, where more folks than in the superbowl would catch it in the face, Black Sunday style.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    The kinetic impact of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers was rather significant. A small gun-style atomic-fission bomb would do a bit more damage, but the forests of skyscrapers would interfere. The old SS-9 Scarp city busters and the UR-500 heaved Czar Bomb would make a city mostly dissappear--but a smaller Hiroshima sized fission weapon would be heard as a thunderclap in other parts of New York, say.
    The forest of skyscrapers interferes with explosions of any size. Unlike a desert where a blast wave can travel unimpeded to an overpressure sensor, possibly even having its strength and range expanded by means of the precursor effect, structures will instead reduce blast energy as the shock wave and winds perform work on them, absorbing or reflecting a certain amount of blast energy. Of course, a falling skyscraper will cause damage even if it blocks a part of blast for shadowed objects... Assuming the burst height is capable of producing an overpressure that can induce a skyscraper to collapse, optimization for which will reduce burst height from the air-zero for which lower over-pressure radii would be optimized for softer targets.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  25. #55
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    The latest ICBM test
    http://www.deagel.com/Ballistic-Miss...002719001.aspx

    There are rumors of a new heavy liquid ICBM
    http://russianforces.org/blog/2012/0..._of_a_ne.shtml

    Avangard is perhaps a "Topol-M/Yars version with modified self-propelled warheads or a proposed railway-based ICBM first mentioned in 2011." Topol itself was meant to fly depressed trajectory. "The missile was specifically designed to fly a trajectory with shorter and lower boost phase, again aiming to reduce its vulnerability to prospective missile defense systems."

    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/rockets_icbm.html

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